BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- The Chicago Fire picked former Salvadoran national coach Carlos de los Cobos as the fifth head coach in the Major League Soccer team's 12-year history on Monday.
The 51-year-old coach succeeds Dennis Hamlett, who coached the Fire in 2008 and 2009 and was released late last year. He said he signed a two-year deal with an option for an unspecified extension.
"I have to learn things quickly, not only the players but how things operate in this league and the differences and nuances between this league and (others) like the Mexican First Division," de los Cobos said through a translator. "But it also makes me excited and it makes me work harder in terms of approaching this challenge."
De los Cobos, a Mexico native, revived the El Salvador's national team as head coach from 2006-09. He previously was head coach of Club America in the Mexican Primera Division and managed a series of Mexican national teams from 1993-2004, including the 1996 Olympic team. He was an assistant coach for a national team that won the CONCACAF 1996 Gold Cup.
De los Cobos' 17-year-playing career including 10 seasons with Club America and stints with two other Mexican teams.
"My idea, philosophy is to play an attractive style of soccer," de los Cobos said. "I know that the most important thing is to win, but there are different ways of winning. My goal and objective is to play a style that's enjoyed by the fans, in which there's a lot of ball movement, good touch on the ball."
The first task for de los Cobos is to travel to this week's MLS player combine in Florida and participate in the MLS draft later this week.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press